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Our production of  THE SNOW QUEEN by Ron Nicol is chock full of talent on stage but did you know we have extremely talented artists working behind the scenes too? In this play, the character of Reindeer has been brought to life in a variety of ways. A few forms Reindeer has taken in other productions are people in costume, wooden cutouts, and our choice, a puppet. We brought in Kristen Phillips Gray who has over 20 years experience in puppet making to create our version. She crafted this puppet in traditional Japanese style of bunraku (pronounced boon-rakoo). This type of puppet is typically maneuvered with three puppeteers who are also visible. As an observer, the illusion is surrendered to and disbelief suspended to play along as though the puppet is truly alive. Our Reindeer was created using wire, wood, sculpted foam, paint and fur over nearly 100 hours of work. The frame is constructed of wire with foam filling out his physical form. The foam for the neck is three pieces to allow for more realistic mobility. Once connected and shaped to achieve the desired form, fur was applied. The torso is hollow with the top left open for the puppeteers to access his controls and operate his legs. Thank you Kristen for creating a truly unique and beautiful character for this show!

Watch the video to learn a little about Kristen and her process.

In addition to the spectacular puppetry work we have the very artistic Erin Frye. The scenes will be set using background projections. She has taken the time to read the script not only for words but gathering emotions, attitudes and character personality traits to translate them into scenery. Her multilayer and multiple medium process has produced some amazing art! Watch the video and see a few drawings as she explains her process! Thank you Erin for setting the scene in such a special way!